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Former Chinese Official ‘Upset with Society’ Drives Car into Schoolchildren

A CCTV camera caught a former Chinese official deliberately driving his car into a group of schoolchildren, killing one and injuring eleven.

Authorities in Nanyang arrested the man, only identified by his surname Ma. They said Ma felt “upset with society” and chose to kill the children as “revenge.”

Chinese outlets said Ma used to work for the “Nanyang City People’s Procuratorate, a branch of the police force that investigates government corruption.”

The attack occurred a day after a man stabbed ten children outside a school before killing himself. He severely injured two children, who remain in the hospital.

One of the worst such attacks occurred in December 2012. A man wounded 22 children and an adult outside a school in the morning. In 2010, a man hacked to death seven children and two adults with a cleaver at a school and injured eleven other children. The Associated Press reports:

The attack began at about 8:20 a.m., as children were arriving at the private Shengshui Temple Kindergarten in Hanzhong’s Nanzheng county, the government statement said. The area is on the city’s rural outskirts in a relatively poor part of the country.

Wu killed the school’s administrator Wu Hongying and a student on the spot, then hacked at 18 others, the statement said. Six students and Wu Hongying’s mother later died in hospital, it said. None of the 11 others hospitalized was in immediate danger, it said.

Wu is a common Chinese surname and it wasn’t clear if the assailant and administrator were related.

Media outlets have noted that the attacks in 2010, 2012, and 2015 shared similarities. According to The New York Times:

No motive was given for the attack, which resembled a string of similar assaults against Chinese schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50. The most recent such attack took place in August, when a man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.

Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system’s ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.

In one of the worst attacks, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship.

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